Eagles Priddis in doubt to face Hawks

Star West Coast midfielder Matt Priddis appears likely to miss Friday night’s qualifying final against Hawthorn in Perth.

According to reports, the reigning Brownlow medallist strained his thigh muscle at training earlier this week, placing him in doubt.

A West Coast spokesperson wouldn’t reveal whether Priddis would face the Hawks or not, saying the club didn’t have to finalise their 22 until the team sheets were submitted at 1650 local time (1850 AEST).

If he is ruled out, Patrick McGinnity is likely to earn a late call-up.

Defender Jackson Nelson and forward Murray Newman are the other two emergencies.

Hawthorn will also have to make a late call on one of their stars, with Isaac Smith in doubt after damaging knee ligaments last week.

The speedy winger didn’t train with teammates in Perth on Thursday, with assistant coach Adem Yze saying Smith’s last-gasp fitness test would be held on matchday.

The likely loss of Priddis would be a huge blow to West Coast’s hopes of toppling flag favourites Hawthorn, who boast match-winners Jordan Lewis, Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge through the middle.

Priddis has averaged 30 disposals and 7.7 clearances a game this season, with his work in the clinches playing a key role in helping West Coast finish second on the ladder.

The loss of his experience would be just as telling.

West Coast will field seven finals debutants against the battle-hardened Hawks, who are aiming for a hat-trick of flags.

The Eagles recalled defender Will Schofield and midfielder Scott Selwood for the high-stakes clash.

Selwood, who is still battling an ongoing ankle issue, could start as the sub after playing for WAFL side East Perth only five days ago.

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